Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday 2/24/12

Today was water system delivery day.  We delivered 3; two schools and and orphanage.  At each place we were able to hand out items to each child at each place.  It was good to see them enjoy playing with the times.  At one school the guys once again performed their David and Goliath skit to the kids delight.  They really liked the skit and laughed and cheered through it.  Like last time, the kids wanted to accept Christ into their lives were asked to come forward and they were prayed for.  There was a large group this time!  After returning, some are resting to get rid of headaches, some are touching up paint and cleaning it up and other odd jobs.  I figured I better send these blogs off while we had internet.  I'll update it again if anything else news worthy happens.  Otherwise, we'll be heading home tomorrow.  It has been an amazing week!  Not only have we helped the local communities by providing a way for them to have clean water, but we've all grown in so many ways spiritually that we are thankful for.  We're already talking about another trip! :)

Thursday 2/23/12

This morning the ladies worked on cleaning and organizing the pantry of the main house.  They guys painted the blue trim for the outside school walls.  They then started painting the nurses' school room across the compound yard.  In the afternoon, the screens and windows for the main house were finished which made Spring very happy!  Lin took time to make banana bars from the fresh bananas that were here.  The electric to the gate man's shack and principal's office were fixed.  The gas leaks to the lower house were found and fixed and the washer/dryer in the lower house are now running.  That also made Spring very happy! :)  No more lugging laundry up to the main house and back.  The evening was again relaxing on the porch and checking out how the fire on the mountain had increased.  It was an interesting sight.  Sorry, but no memorable Rusty-ism were recorded last night or tonight.

Wednesday 2/22/12

Today we gathered toys, candy and bible verse cards to take to a school party we were attending.  After that Katie and Mike were able to meet their sponsor child and her mom.  They walked to the compound from home; a 15-20 minute walk.  The school we went to was Bapstie Emmanuel.  This is the school we visited eariler in the week and gave them a water treatment system.  They hadn't been in class for about a month.  This party was to bring the students in so Life Line could do updates (height, weight, photo and where they're living) for all the sponsor kids that attend that school.  They kids sang some songs for us and we then lead them in some songs.  The kids and teachers really got into the songs.  They guys performed David and Goliath for the group.  Paul was Goliath, Dave was David, Chad and Mike were lions, Jeff a bear.  Jason narrated Rusty explained the salvation story using a picture cube.  We at luch at the Barbacort Lifeline orphanage buliding site.  After, the guys helped pour some concrete while the ladies walked to a local orphanage to see the kids and hand out some items.  When we arrived at the orphanage, we were saddened to see a girl that had been taken to the hospital the day before back at their church.  She is in kidney failure and the hospital had released her the same day or early morning after admitting her.  Dinner that night was a soup with awesome homemade dumplings.  yum!  Janet (nurse currently here) mentioned the mountain across the way was on fire.  That apparently happens during the dry season.  So ended another eventful day! 

Tuesday 2/21/12

Hello all!  Sorry for the delay.  Our internet connections been down until today.  I'll see if I can get everyone caught up.

Tuesday we finished cleaning the screens and windows in the lower house and started on the main house's.  Another group finished the 2nd coat of paint in the clinic's waiting room and painted the school's retaining wall.  Some of us helped hand out food in the canteen.  The kids aren't back to school until Thursday due to Carnival, but Life Line still feeds the kids at the compound and the surrounding village.  In the afternoon, a couple guys stopped by with items we could buy.  We then delivered 3 water systems after that; to a local Life Line supported school, a clinic that is the communitie's water supply and a remote village.  That evening Chad, Rusty and Jason made Apple Dapple Cookies.  They were pretty good. We're not sure if it because we hadn't had any dessert like that in a while or they were that good. :)

Last night, Rusty upgraded from simply Rusty-ism words to full phrases.  Here they are:
  • It's in the Prince? (meaning Port Au Prince)
  • You can't tell me how I can't!
  • Backwards from this month (meaning January)
  • He's off a skiff
  • With their adults (meaning parents)
  • Wish I could not figure out

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday 2/20

Hello all back in Iowa and Illinois!  After morning devotion we split up again.  Some finished cleaning and organizing the clinc.  One group painted the clinic waiting room and a third woked on the lighting again.  After finishing the lighting, they joined the painters.  We took a break to see the ladies put the bread to be baked in the solar (sun) ovens.  Boy did those smell amazing!!  It cool how they can harness the sun's energy to bake wonderful breads.  After lunch some of us worked on cleaning the windows and screens in the lower house.  The others worked on fixing a drainage issue behind that house.  After Jack our driver returned to the compound, we went to a local school to deliver a water treatment unit.  That is really an amazing set up.  To use electicity and salt water to make chlorine which makes their water safe to drink.  We really do take A LOT for granted in the US.  The principal was exstatic to say the least.  There was a lot of Allelueas by all! :)  He gave us a tour of the school and learned classes hadn't been held there in about a month due to lack of funds.  This concerned all of us and lead to ideas to help sponsor the school.  We're getting more info from Spring (overseeing our stay) as to how much it is. 

Our prayers today included friends and family.  At least two of our prayers were answered.  Kayla's family posted good news about her check up and Bev's grandsons are out of the hospital!  Praise God!  Joe, you were included and we hope your first day of the new job went well.  Tracey, you are also in our prayers that today and tomorrow go well for you.  Can't wait to hear about your experiences! 

Today's Rusty-isms: revelation-ing and bad yoke-ages.  Oh and and in a discussion on how thick and heave bibles can be, we found to lighten his bible, he apparently has removed all the parts he doesn't need. :)  Spring is really finding our group (especially Rusty) rather entertaining.  We're at lest brining laughter to her life.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring for us so we'll have to let you know then!

Good night all and thank you for your comments to our posts.  It's great to know we're being supported and people are enjoy following our adventures!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday 2/19 Sperry group

Our day started off with a relaxing breakfast.  We then attended church service which was very interesting.  The harmony of the attenders singing was wonderful.  Most of the attendees shook our hands as they left.  It was pretty cool!  We then went into Port Au Prince.  That was quite an experience!  Not only the traffic, but the city condition are really indescribable.  According to the people here at the compound, it was pretty much like that before the earthquake but with less tents.    We stopped 3 times to shop a bit.  EVERYONE wants you to buy their stuff and there are only a few of us.  We then had a great devotional with discussions.  We all are currently relaxing; talking, playing cards, hiking to the cross.  Another great day.  Tomorrow we start on projects again around the compound.

Jen and Joe, I forgot to mention yesterday that we met Nota (no-tah). :)  She was also at church service this AM. 

For those that know Rusty...we have to share some "Rusty-ism" from last night and today.  Last night he introduced us to "culture-y" and added to it with "culture-y diversification"  that was followed with "ging-ging".  For the rest of that, he meant ginsing!  Tonight's "Rusty-ism" for tonight so far is 4H-y and cinnamon-y.  If any others are expressed after my blogging, I'll let you know tomorrow! :) 

Good night all!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday, February 18

A rather busy day here for our group. We started with a devotion at the Prayer Rock.  Then walked up to the cross on the hill.  What a view!!!  We then walked around the village right outside the compound.  That was interesting.  The kids all wanted to hold our hands while we walked around and everyone was friendly.  We then split up into 3 groups.  One worked on cleaning and organizing the clinic spaces.  One worked on window screens.  The last group worked on fixing some electical problems.  As I type this the electrical group is still discussing how to fix that problem.  They thought they had it fixed, but it has other ideas.  All in all a good day! Tomorrow we'll head to Port Au Prince after church to sight see a bit and possibly buy some souvenirs.  Tonight...relaxing and playing cards.  Euchre anyone???  Till tomorrow!  Good night  

Friday, February 17, 2012

After an interesting ride to the compound, the Sperry, IA group arririved.  There is a connection problem and we can't see what we,re typing.  Hope this makes sense!  We'll try again tomorrow!  Night all!!

Carnaval Etudiant


Spring, Janet and Dav

Lifeline La Digue (Jean Fritz in green,
Osmy's daughter Ananka in overalls)

Teachers dancing with students

Its Carnaval time in Haiti!  Carnaval is one of Haiti's biggest holidays with events taking place all throughout the month of February.  Its similar to Mardi Gras and has its own music, costumes and party themes. The main event will be next weekend in Les Cayes.  Our two schools had celebrations today with dancing, music, food and Bible movies for the Student Carnival "Carnaval Etudiant".  We were invited to join in the fun but chose not to karaoke! lol (Blog & Pics By: Candice) 

Lifeline Barbancourt Carnaval Celebration

Carnaval Masks

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Painting in Canteen

We have a beautiful new mural in the canteen painted by a team from California a few weeks ago :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lifeline Garden Update!

Lifeline's garden is starting to yield its first minicrop.  The okra "calalou" is ripe and ready for the pickin.  Last week Kayil and I picked some and I fried it up southern style.  We don't yet produce enough to help cut costs at Lifeline but someday we hope to.  Right now its a teaching tool for Kayil, our new gardener, and the boys he has volunteer with him on Saturdays.  We are also testing out our compost fertilizer and the local ant poison granuals before we expand the garden.   (Blog by: Candice)

Monday, February 13, 2012

our last day in haiti :(

Today we spent the morning in Williamson at the school/orphanage.  Two guys brought a water filter from the 12:1 run to leave there for them and did a training session with the workers.  The house mother for the girl’s room is going to be in charge of keeping track of the water filter and all the parts so that they don’t get lost or broken.  We also did a short bible story about Jesus healing the paralytic, sang Father Abraham for the kids, they sang some songs for us and then we handed out coloring sheets and crayons.  It was so sweet because some of the kids wanted to give the team members the pictures they colored.  We were told the kids love coloring sheets and treasure them so it was so honoring that they would offer their coloring sheets to us.  During the story one very tiny little girl was welling up with tears in her eyes so I tried to comfort her with a pat on the back, she instantly broke out with a loud wail.  The poor little thing was terrified of the “blanc”, white people and I had only made it worse.  Robinson made a joke about it and the entire place broke out with laughter.  After we were all done with the story and coloring, we all went out to the yard to play.  A couple of the younger boys in our group pumped up two of the soccer balls we brought and formed a soccer game.  The group also handed out jump ropes and showed the little ones how to use them.  Many of the older girls already knew what they were doing and looked like pros.  After half an hour or so we collected all the balls and jump ropes to leave there for recess, we left a few more balls for the orphanage as well.  While we were waiting to leave some of the teenage kids were talking to our teenage kids and one of our girls got a marriage proposal.  It was very entertaining J  One of the father’s on our trip met a very special boy who kept grabbing his arm and saying “leave, leave”.  He wanted them to take him home with them to America.  It’s so hard to say good bye and leave these children who have no family and leave them in this poverty of Haiti.  The hope and encouragement that we have though is that they are well taken care of in this orphanage and that they are taught the love of Christ.  We may not be able to take them all home with us but we can reach them right where they are by loving them, showing them who Jesus is and meeting their physical needs through sponsorship.  We pray for all those children and the people who take care of them.  God bless them all.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another amazing day in Haiti!  Started out the day worshipping with the beautiful people here.  Church was a moving experience full of great music, lots of “Hallelujah”s, and “Amens”.  God was in the house!  After church several of the folks, especially the children gathered around.  We held hands and danced to the music as the band continued to practice after the service was over.  What a joyous time. 
In the afternoon we were taken on a tour of Port Au Prince.  I thought I had seen all the horrible things in Haiti there were to experience.  Today proved that to be wrong.  We drove through the worst slums in the city (Cite Soleil).  Every sense was assaulted by the destitution there.  I can’t imagine anyone living in such conditions let alone the vast number of people in that area.  I’m still processing what my role is going to be in trying to help or change any of this.  But I don’t believe it will be sending my mostly used up shoes or random cast off clothes.  I pray for God to give me the wisdom about how to proceed when I get home, in some way that will be helpful to this country and its people. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks, staff members at Lifeline realized that several children in the community suffered from developmental problems that affected their quality of life.  They began praying that God would provide someone with the skills to work with these children and help them progress.  Within a week, God sent a team from the Midwest, one of which happened to be an Occupational Therapy assistant.  This team member had distinctly heard God telling her to go to Haiti on this mission trip but felt inept to go.  Questions of her ability kept arising in herself but she knew that she had felt God’s calling so decided to trust God and go.  She never knew that her career of occupational therapy could ever be more than just a career path.  She worked with elderly patients most often and knew that the need in Haiti would more likely be children than anything else.  After arriving at Children’s Lifeline she soon learned of two children that needed some help.  Still questioning her own ability she again said yes to going and found that her knowledge and her ingenuity were useful.  After meeting with the families along with the Lifeline nurse they came up with creative solutions for addressing the children’s needs.  She had not known that Children’s Lifeline just recently met these children even though they have always lived in the village, nor had she known that they had been praying for someone to come and help them.  She was an answer to prayer.  God had set the whole story into motion months ago and painted a picture of growth physically, spiritually and emotionally in this woman, these Haitian families and the workers at Children’s Lifeline.  What an awesome God we have!

Our team would like to encourage anyone who feels led to take a mission trip to step out in obedience and go.  Whether you know how you’ll be used or not God has a plan for you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

First work day

So today was our first full day in Haiti,  after getting up at six in the morning we headed up to the warehouse where we oganized all the donations.We had to sort the all the shoes while some of our group went down to the village to help with the house.I knew it was going to be different but, I had no idea how much poverty is around the world and what true poverty looks like.  After lunch we walked to Barbencourt where we visited a Lifeline feeding center then paraded with Haitans that we met today.  We ended our tour at Pastor  Luisant Orphanage and church along the trip every Hatian kid it seemed like wanted to touch my hair or play this hand game where it you hit the person's hand while the other person tries to move away so they don't get hit.They would say some sentence over and over, so of course I kinda wanted to know what they were saying and this one lady said it meant "You have a Beautiful head" . I really didn't know  how to respond to it so it was awkward.Everywhere we went as soon as I would take out a soccer ball and start inflating it there would be a swarm of kids wanting to play or get a free soccer ball for them.I would inflate it quick, play a little while, deflate it and put it away or leave it there for them to play with.The ride from the orphanage was definitely an experience.You had to hold on to whatever bar you could hold on and try not to fall when you hit a pothole or shift gears.There was one kid that was part of our group that was having stomach problems so he got to sit shotgun.When we got back the first thing that happened was I was asked if I wanted to play a game of soccer with them.Unfortunately I was to tired that I had to say no or I'd have died out on the field it seemed like.Dinner was so good there was the food that they serve at the school and some of the tenderest chicken ever.So that was basically our day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hope in Salvation

A couple weeks ago, a little girl ended up on our porch. She had the face of an angel and was suffering beyond what I could imagine as she was very malnourished and straining to breath. We gave her some milk and the caretaker money to get her to the hospital right away (she was from a local orphanage). She went to the hospital but it was too late. She died that night. This beautiful child of God was only 4 years old. We can't always save everyone that ends up on our porc and this reality breaks my heart. [But I know she is dancing with Jesus and that is far better than anything this world has to offer.]

There is hope in salvation. Without the cross, there is nothing - Haiti is a constant reminder of that.
The exciting thing is there are some people the Lord allows us to help save. Like baby Dabens - aka "David". He came to Lifeline at 3 months old weighing 3 pounds. He surpassed the odds of death and is now 5 months old. Watching him grow with a loving family and seeing Jesus at work in his tiny life has been such a joy and blessing! God must have big plans for this child!! 

Baby "David" at 3 months.  
Baby "David" at 5 months. 

Before Jean Fritz could only look at Baby David. 
Now, Jean Fritz gets to hold baby "David". He LOVES holding him!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lifeline Goats

Cayil, the gardener and chicken man for Lifeline, and I bought goats today at the Arcahaie Market!  We got one goat still producing milk and a pregnant goat.  Judy, a nurse from Kentucky is here for a few weeks and will start teaching classes on the usefulness of goats' milk.  There are goats all over Haiti (seems like more than people) but no one drinks goat milk.  It is better for babies than cow milk so we're hoping to start promoting the idea.  When women can't breast feed and run out of formula, they mix flour and water and give that to the babies.  If only they knew they could use the milk of the little goats running around the yard instead of just using them for meat once they are old. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 – Update #9

We have huge news from Haiti today – an answer to prayer.  The final container that has been stuck in customs for a looong time was released today.  They have all the contents (which includes the main orphanage building, roofs, windows and other items for the smaller buildings) in storage at the Lifeline school next to our property.  Praise the Lord!  The team also got the walls up for the 2nd agriboard building that will be the other side of our hospitality house. 

This was an extremely productive trip in so many ways, blessed by God – the new vehicle, the container, the construction progress, the orphanage licensing paperwork started, connections with critical people made, village children’s ministry and so much more – and we give God every bit of the glory for guiding and providing for us.  This team was wonderful all the way around.  Everyone from our youngest member, 14 year old Cameron Colace, to our oldest members, 70 year olds Gary and Kathy, they all worked so hard and contributed a tremendous amount, not only physically, but the camaraderie through unity in Christ was wonderful.  Equally important were all of those at home lifting up the team and specific needs in prayer daily – we couldn’t have done it without your support. 

The last 7 people on the team head home early tomorrow morning and should arrive in Holtville by midnight, Lord willing.  Please pray for this last step in the journey. 

Also, our next trip will be March 16th – 26th.  The purpose of this trip will be to build the orphanage for the first week and then to go over to La Gonave Island to do a revival with Pastor Benis during the last weekend. You do not have to be there for the entire time if you can’t get away that long. If you are interested and have any questions, let me know.

Blessings in Christ,
Nikki, aka Madame Ryan